1st Keynotes speaker announcement


Corné PIETERSE is professor of Plant-Microbe Interactions and scientific director of the Institute of Environmental Biology of the Faculty of Science at the Utrecht University.

PIETERSE's research group is focused on how the plant immune system protects plants against microbial pathogens and insect herbivores, and how beneficial microbes in the plant root microbiome stimulates plant growth and health. Special emphasis is placed on molecular mechanisms of plant-beneficial functions that are encoded by the root microbiome, the role of plant genes that aid in maximizing profitable functions from the root microbiome, and crosstalk between plant defense hormones.

Monica HÖFTE is professor at the Department of Plant and Crops of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at the University of Ghent, where she leads the laboratory of Phytopathology.

She is an agricultural engineer with a PhD degree in microbial ecology. Monica Höfte is a general plant pathologist with a wide interest in both fundamental and practical aspects of plant-pathogen interactions. Her interests are biological control of plant pathogens and natural and induced resistance mechanisms against plant pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Prof.Höfte works on biocontrol mainly focus on cyclic lipopeptide-producing bacteria.

Monica HOFTE
Brigitte Mauch-Mani

Brigitte MAUCH-MANI is professor at the University of Neuchâtel, Faculty of Sciences, Institute of Biology, Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology.

Mauch-Mani's research group is focused around the molecular mechanisms and genetic basis leading to induced resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses, especially priming in plants and its role in the induced resistance. Brigitte Mauch-Mani uses the model plant Arabidopsis as well as crop plants such as maize or tomato for her research.

Willem J. RAVENSBERG, Ph.D., MSc. Willem is Regulatory and Governmental Affairs Manager of Koppert Biological Systems with more than 30 years of experience in research and development of beneficial insects and microorganisms for crop protection products. He has ample experience in registration of microorganism in the European Union as well as in other countries. Willem did his Ph.D. in 2010 on the development of microbial pest control products for control of arthropods at the University of Wageningen, the Netherlands. He has a long experience in the biocontrol industry and has been active in many areas of biocontrol in research, product development and practical applications in greenhouse crops and field crops. Willem has been active for many years in industry associations in the Netherlands, EU, and the USA. He was President of IBMA (the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association) from 2013-2018.

Uwe Conrath

Uwe CONRATH is a Professor of Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Plant Physiology Department at RWTH Aachen University.

Conrath’s research group is particularly committed to understanding how plants withstand disease. Their primary focus is on ‘defense priming’. The term describes the enhanced capacity of immunized plants to mobilize defense resulting in earlier, faster, and more robust activation of defense. This often provides systemic immunity. The Conrath group also addresses various Agriculture Biotechnology and Bioeconomy aspects to translate concepts discovered in basic research to agriculture.

Karine GROSBEAU is currently working as Head of Regulatory and Registration for the leading company Group Eléphant Vert since 2015.
She has been a regulatory and registration expert for more than 13 years in Europe but also dealing with African countries (North, West and East Africa) and Central Asia.

Karine Grosbeau holds also the position of Treasurer and Board Member of IBMA Global (International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association). She’s as well co-chairman of the Regulatory Working Group of IBMA France.

Karine Grosbeau